The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant effect on the housing market and the Government has taken unprecedented measures to help those facing challenges. To support housebuilders the Government has taken steps including the Stamp Duty holiday and increasing site opening hours to facilitate activity. In addition we have set out an ambitious package of measures to ensure we build the right homes in the right places and level up opportunities across the country. This package includes, at £12.2 billion,?the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in a decade;?a once in a generation reform to the planning system, and plans for a £10 billion Single Housing Infrastructure Fund to tackle barriers to housebuilding.
Recent evidence shows housebuilding activity is picking up. For example Knight Frank, the estate agency, highlighted that land market transactions picked up in Q3, with housebuilders returning to the market after many withdrew in Q2. Some have publicly confirmed resilient sales levels and completion rates despite the pandemic, noting an increase in demand over the summer as the market reopened. Similarly the Construction PMI for housebuilding was 62.4 in October, above the 50 no-change mark which indicates that output expanded. Survey respondents highlighted pent up demand and a boost from improving housing market conditions. We continue to monitor the housing market and the effect on it over the pandemic.